Drunkard’s Path Quilt Block

You are here:

The Drunkard's Path is a unit used in numerous quilt blocks. Below are just a few:

More can be found in the Curved Piecing section of the Block Library or by searching the library for the Drunkard's Path tag.

Instructions

The Drunkard's Path can be made several ways.  Traditionally, each piece was cut with templates and the patchwork was sewn together with lots of pins and sewing set in curves. If you want to try this method, you can download the templates using the link below. (The download is free or you can make a small donation if you like.)

Most modern quilters make Drunkard's Patch units using an Applique technique, which is described below:

Making Applique Drunkard's Path Units

(Makes 4 identical Drunkard's Path Units)

  • Decide how big to make your finished block.
  • Cut your background square and circle piece according to the chart below.
  • Cut a piece of fusible interfacing the same size as your circle.

 A simple way to cut these circles is to to use a Circle Rotary Ruler such as the Wright's Easy Circle Cut Ruler shown in the Affiliate link below.

Please note that by clicking on the link below you will be taken to Amazon.com, and I will receive a small commission for your purchase.

  • Sew the interfacing and circle together, using a 1/4" seam, along the outer edges of the circles, making sure the right side of the fabric and the fusible side of the interfacing are facing each other.
  • Make a small slit in the center of the interfacing, and turn your circle right side out, so that the seams are inside the circle and interfacing.  Use a point turning tool to smooth out the seams.
  • Find the center of your background square and align the center of your applique circle perfectly in the center of your background with the right sides of each piece facing up.  Using a hot iron, press the circle to the background square.
  • Cut your square in half, vertically and horizontally so that you have 4 equal Drunkard's Path Units.

Drunkard's Path Cutting Instructions

Use this cutting chart to determine sizes needed for background squares and circles when using the Applique method.

Size of Finished Block Cut Size of Background Square Cut Size Diameter of Center Circle
5" 11" 6.5"
6" 13" 7.75"
8" 17" 10"
10" 21" 12.5"